Any father with a kid who wants a Barbie doll knows that there’s no such thing as simply buying a Barbie doll. Only a monster would make his kid’s Barbie walk when all the other neighborhood Barbies tool around in Jeeps and RVs as they make their way from mansion to mansion while changing outfits every 10 yards. But does all that conspicuous consumption set a bad example? Since this is America, you answer that question with another question: Can she afford it?
It’s not as simple a question as you might think. While Barbie’s tastes would probably make a Real Housewife Of Orange County blush, she’s also ridiculously over-educated and over-employed. To figure out if Barbie is living beyond her means, you need to start with an inventory of her big-ticket possessions, and then map that to some educated guesses about her income. Here’s how it breaks down:
Save for the Fiat, Barbie’s cars lack branding, so these are their nearest real-world equivalents.
Barbie’s iconic “Dream Home” is likely located in her fictional hometown of Willows, Wisconsin; price is based on an equivalent property in the community of River Hills, WI.
Sundry Expensive Things
Given her penchant for stylistic shifts and generalist disposition, assume Barbie’s wardrobe comes from Macy’s.
Assume all cars are leased and the homes were bought with 30-year mortgages at 5.7 percent APR.
- Mortgage payments, plus taxes: $1,037,064/year, plus $163,790/year
- Car Leases: $17,592/year
- Fuel for all those vehicles: $6,348/year
- Horse and Jetski: $19,399
- Horse maintenance: $7,000/year
- Student loan debt: $400/year
- Clothing: $3,200/year
That’s not a number any guy should want his kid laying out on an annual basis, but don’t jump to conclusions. Barbie is no squandering trustafarian — in fact, she has 3 steady streams of income:
Based on Wisconsin averages from Indeed.com.
In addition to her laudable work in research and health care, Barbie moonlights as a rockstar — and a pretty successful one at that. Her YouTube channel boasts over a half million subscribers and hundreds of millions of video views. Using YouTube as a metric, Barbie’s audience is comparable to Carrie Underwood (no offense, Carrie), who made a healthy $8,051,484 in 2014.
So, the moral of the story is that you can probably rest easy. Even if your kids are developing Barbie-like materialism, they should be fine as long as they’re on track to become a teen pop star.